Strategic options of energy service companies in competitive energy markets

In this dissertation, I determine the strategic options of energy service companies active in urban areas. This work is developed considering the wider EU policy framework, namely a liberalised energy market, environmental protection and security of supply. This framework has created a competitive environment favouring the emergence of a new type of actors, including providers of energy service (ESCOs) competing to increase their market shares. I refer to energy service companies as companies that can potentially provide services beyond the simple procurement in energy commodities (e.g., end-use solutions, energy efficiency services). My empirical analysis is based on a questionnaire targeting managers of energy service companies, and on three field projects illustrating different value configurations (chain, shop, network) as proposed by Stabell and Fjeldstad (1998). The results show that: (1) energy services in competitive energy markets may be defined as the set of activities undertaken by a market player to provide sound solutions to respond to customers' needs; energy companies of all types can provide such services; (2) to remain competitive these companies must have at least two value configurations, i.e., an overarching model and a secondary model; the secondary model must be used to created added value services (3) the strategic options are developed by undertaking activities featuring the secondary model (4) value configuration can be used by practitioners as an analytical tool to determine the strategic options.


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